Am I going to be OK?
This is probably the most frequently asked question of our Retirement Income Specialists here at Retirement Navigator™. But the reality is, you’ll never be satisfied with the answer until you define what your OK looks like. This life plan must include associated costs and timelines.
Retirement Income Planning is first and foremost a process of making lifestyle choices. As in all phases of life, choosing more of one thing usually means choosing to accept less of another.
My fundamental belief is that people make better life and money choices when they understand where these decisions are leading – before they need to commit to these choices. In other words, if your retirement is going to be successful you need to determine what you want to do, when you want to do it and how big you want to do it – before you do anything.
In the process of gaining clarity about the specific life choices you decide to pursue, a Retirement Income Specialist will gain the insight and understanding they need to recommend money choices that will align with the life choices you have chosen.
The creation of a Retirement Income Plan is not a one and done process. It’s critical that a Retirement Income Specialist stays current with what is happening and changing in each of their clients’ lives so they can adapt each client income plan to fit their ever-changing life stories.
Key observations on retirement planning
Planning for retirement is very different from the planning you did earlier in life. By this point in time, you are quickly closing in on the end of your saving years. The two major questions you now face are: 1. What future life choices can be funded from your earlier choices of how much to save, and 2. How do you ensure your accumulated nest egg works harder and lasts longer? This requires the alignment of your money choices with the life choices you have chosen to pursue.
- Investment strategies that succeeded during your accumulation (saving) years turn and work against you in your drawdown (retirement) years
- People spend too much time worrying about when they should retire, when the more important question is how long they might live
- Most financial advisors have received no formal training in providing proper retirement income planning
- The 10 years leading up to retirement represent the years of highest investment risk but also the greatest planning opportunity
- Better plans happen when both spouses are involved
- Proper income planning can add hundreds of thousands of dollars to lifetime assets and cash flow
- No one likes paying taxes, yet retirees continue to fall prey to huge retirement tax traps
- Many people fail to contemplate the possibility of outliving their spouse. It’s important that you understand the financial situation you may inherit
- Too few people fully understand their company pension plan and/or their government retirement entitlements such as CPP and OAS
- Few people know how to strategically convert their accumulated savings into a sustainable retirement income stream. Instead, they inefficiently cobble together their required cash flow, on an as needed basis
- When you integrate the cash flow demands of your life plan with your investment strategy, your money will work harder and last longer
- Retirement income planning does not have to be a daunting process